Oswego County's: Guide To Government

Abner Mattoon

Senator Mattoon represents the Twenty-First Senatorial District, composed of the Counties of Oswego and Madison. He was born in Locke, Cayuga County, in 1814. Senator Mattoon's has been particularly an active business life. At quite an early age, he went to Rochester, where he remained until years of manhood, when he went to New York City and entered into commercial pursuits. His business in New York was of such character as to require frequent trips to the then "Far West… the Mississippi River being then considered in the same light by the pioneers, as the " Ultima Thule, of the ancients. While yet a young man, Mr. Mattoon spent several winters on steamers of the great "Father of Rivers," and at the various towns which line its waters, advancing the interests of the house he represented in the commercial metropolis.The time thus spent gave him an experience and a knowledge of business and men which has been of great use to him all his life.

In 1844, Mr. Mattoon removed to the village of Oswego, the principal port upon the southern shore of Lake Ontario, with the prosperity and growth of which he has ever since been closely identified. From an unimportant town, he has lived to see the village of his adoption expand into a point of great commercial importance, rating, in fact, in the year 1867, the sixth port in the Union in volume of receipts for foreign customs; New York, Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New Orleans alone exceeding it.

On removing to Oswego, Mr. Mattoon entered the employ, as agent and managing man, of the firm of Bronson & Crocker, at that time the oldest, and one of the most extensive and respectable commercial houses on all the Northern Frontier. Subsequently opening a commercial house of his own, he has ever since been very extensively engaged in the forwarding business, in grain dealing. In milling, boat building, and in kindred pursuits, his business relations extending to nearly all points in Canada, and to the extent of the Great Lakes West.

Activity has always characterized Senator Mattoon in his relations to society. His own city, during the last 20 years, has taken a leading position in educational matters. The efficiency and success of its schools, and its excellence of its system of education, have given it a deserving prominence among all the Cities of the Union. Senator Mattoon has been one of the most active members of the Board of Education of Oswego, almost uninterruptedly since its first organization. He has several times been its president. Through his efforts in the Legislature, an appropriation was obtained for the support of a "Training School" for the teachers of Oswego, which has since grown into a most flourishing and successful State Normal School, and which is educating and training hundreds of teachers annually to go out into the State and Union. Prepared to introduce and practice the latest and most approved methods of imparting primary instruction. Of the local Board for the management of this school, Senator Mattoon has been from its organization one of the most active members.

Senator Mattoon was an early advocate of the temperance cause, and in 1854, when political action was proposed in his district, he was the temperance candidate for Member of Assembly, withdrawing, however, before the election in favor of the Hon. D.C. Littlejohn, the Whig Candidate, who was elected.

Senator Mattoon has always been an active politician. In early life he was a Seward Whig. At the winding up of the affairs of the Whig Party, Mr. Mattoon for a time was identified with the "Americans," and was their candidate for member of the Assembly in 1855, in opposition to Hon. Orville Robinson, the Democratic candidate, who was elected and became Speaker.

Senator Mattoon, since its organization has been an active and influential member of the Republican party. He was an energetic supporter of President Lincoln's Administration and of the war against rebellion. In 1862 he was the Republican candidate of his district for member of Assembly and was elected. His experience and pursuits pointed him out as peculiarly fitted for the position, and he was made the Chairman of the important Committee on Commerce and Navigation. He was also upon no less important Committee on Canals. Being re-elected the following year, he was awarded the position of Chairman of the Canal Committee, and it was also upon other important committees.

In 1867, he was nominated by the Senatorial Convention of the 21st District, and was elected by a very large majority over General Robert C. Kenyon the Democratic candidate. In the Senate he is Chairman of the Printing Committee, and also a member of the Canalother committees. His Senatorial career bids fair to be an active, influential and honorable one

Life sketches of the state officers, senators, and members of the Assembly of the State of New York, in 1868.

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